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techsuch May 9, 2021 0 Comments

Women and Minorities in Tech, By the NumbersThat number has dropped by 8 percent since then, and the representation ofother groups has increased a bit, proportionally.But the continuing lack of diversity in computer science majors can’t beexplained by sheer population growth. White people are earning college degreesat more or less the same rate that they were in 1991. Overall, more blackpeople and Hispanic people are earning college degrees, but only Hispanicpeople seem to be entering the CS discipline.It’s hard to know why, but there are clues. A 2016 report from Google foundthat black and Hispanic students were 1.5 and 1.7 times more likely to have aninterest in learning CS. And while the nation has, overall, increased thenumber of CS course offerings in K-12 education, black and Hispanic studentsare less likely to have access to those resources. They’re also at adisadvantage outside of the classroom: Two-thirds of white students reportusing computers at home, whereas only half of black and Hispanic students do.And even the perceived gaps being filled by underrepresented minoritiesproportionally in the chart above are actually being hijacked, numbers-wise,by men.And the irony is, today, more women than men earn college degrees, even as thenumber of women studying computer science is falling. This problem has existedsince the 1970s, when typing stopped being considered an asset for computerscience, Harvey Mudd College president Maria Klawe told WIRED. “Women weremajoring in computer science because it was something they were expected to begood at.” Since then, the number of women studying CS has been falling prettysteadily since the 80s, despite the increase in demand for these types ofskills.A study from Georgetown University found that more women are studying STEMmajors, they’re just not choosing computer science. Biology, by contrast, hasseen an increase in female majors, from 51 percent in 1992 to 60 percenttoday. That said, the wage gap persists.Women in STEM make $16,000 less on average than their male counterparts, andif you’re black or Hispanic, you might be making $14,000 less than your whitecoworker.As (some) companies make strides to diversify their workforces, let’s hopethey focus on wage parity as well.Inside Oracle High • Call Me, Maybe • The New Cyber Troops • Paths to EarlyStardom • Why Teens Don’t Drive • In Love on Strava • Death of Middle SchoolRomance • Solving Health Issues at All Stages* * *This article appears in the April issue. Subscribe now.

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